It's far-fetched, so stay with us here: For some fans — and possibly even the cast themselves —the world of The Walking Dead may be a continuation of the legacy laid down by Breaking Bad's Walter White, after the iconic anti-hero unleashed zombie-grade drugs on the world and lapsed from this life into the (un)dead realm himself.
In commemoration of Breaking Bad’s 10th anniversary at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, members of the original cast, along with show creator Vince Gilligan, gave Walking Dead fans the equivalent of a Lloyd Christmas-style “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?!” acknowledgement that a bizarre, long-held fan theory that connects the two AMC franchises may have at least a sliver of merit.
The so-called “Breaking Dead” theory posits that Bryan Cranston’s Walter White is actually the perpetrator of The Walking Dead’s zombie plague, thanks to the addictive and dramatic effects of the spread of his pharmaceutical-grade, blue crystal meth. Partake of the highly illegal and devastatingly effective stuff in excess (assuming, of course, that there can even be degrees of acceptable use for such an illicit substance), and you become a zombie — or so the theory goes.
Via Indiewire, Gilligan tipped his hat to the idea, without revealing whether he envisioned the theory as something that connects the two franchises. “I love that theory. That was a kick. They're two great shows, The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead,” Gilligan told attendees.
Cranston took things a small step further, playfully hinting that fans just might as well keep on speculating. “Walt is dead, so he could be a zombie right now. Heisenberg zombie! My agents are out here, we should talk,” he joked.
The theory at least has some basis in on-screen fact: One episode of Fear the Walking Dead included a Breaking Bad Easter egg in the form of one of the show’s signature songs, “Negro y Azul: The Ballad of Heisenberg.”
We didn’t spot any sly Bryan Cranston cameos in either of AMC’s Comic-Con trailers for The Walking Dead or Fear the Walking Dead, so for now, it looks as though the “Breaking Dead” theory will have to remain just that — a theory. And while Breaking Bad rode off into the sunset long ago, at least we can still look forward to all-new episodes of both Dead shows, when AMC debuts their new seasons beginning this fall.